Best Nootropics for Memory
* Verified by a US-based board-certified doctor.
Today nootropics are an exciting topic for the enhancement of our cognitive processes. These processes include memory, focus, clear thinking, mood, creativity, and motivation. Nootropics have been found to improve thinking, increase energy, and give us an overall advantage in our mental capacity.
What are nootropics?
The word, Nootropics, comes from a Greek word meaning ‘mind-turning.’ They are a class of substances, natural and synthetic, that have the ability to boost brainpower. They claim to enhance creativity, focus, and intelligence.
- Synthetic nootropics: Better known as ‘smart drugs,’ are pharmaceuticals that usually require a prescription and medical supervision.
- Natural nootropics: This class consists of herbs and plant extracts. Although there is evidence of their efficacy, these are not regulated by the FDA, and they aren’t allowed to make claims.
Taking either of these classes of nootropics regularly can have long-term benefits for your brain. They each have advantages and disadvantages, so which type you take depends on your circumstances and personal needs.
Are we going too far?
Are we going too far with neurological enhancement? Just because we can optimize our brain function, should we? We say yes. Our lives are hectic, and the ever-increasing demands call for us to stretch ourselves to meet the demand. Fortunately, neuroscience has solutions. There are natural substances that can enhance our intellect and productivity. The ethical question, for us, is easy to answer. Rather than seeing the supplementing of nootropics as some kind of unfair advantage over others, it’s really the optimization of each persons’ own potential. We’re merely upgrading our personal software.
Natural nootropics for memory
Here we’ll discuss the best natural nootropics for memory enhancement:
When we think of being alert and focused, caffeine is the first substance that comes to mind. It is a stimulant and has been proven to reduce the feeling of fatigue. Caffeine works by blocking the action of the chemical messenger that informs us that we’re tired. So we don’t get the message and carry on with our activity. Caffeine has been associated with sleeplessness when consumed in large quantities or too late in the day.
We find caffeine mainly in coffee, but it is also present in chocolate, green tea, black tea, and even soda. Moderate consumption (300 g daily) is recommended.
Lion’s Mane is a large, shaggy mushroom that grows in Asia. It contains two compounds, hericenones and erinacines, that boost brain cell growth. The discovery of these compounds provoked a lot of discussion and research to see if Lion’s Mane could protect our brains as we age. So far, animal experiments have had positive results. It appears that Lion’s Mane may be able to prevent cognitive decline and improve memory.
L-Theanine is an amino acid found in tea leaves. In addition to minimizing the effects of stress and anxiety on the body, it also helps with focus. L-Theanine enhances brain waves that make you more creative and alert. There is a relaxing component to L-Theanine, which is why we love to unwind with a cup of tea. The combination of L-Theanine and caffeine seems to increase its impact.
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Ashwagandha is a plant in the nightshade family, known as an adaptogenic herb. This means that it minimizes the negative impact of stress on your body. It also helps with blood pressure, cortisol, and inflammation markers.
Ashwagandha may also regulate hormone and neurotransmitter release to further aid us in dealing with stress. One study found that participants who were chronically stressed and took ashwagandha for 60 days had a significantly more positive stress response. Other studies had similar results. Stress can lead to memory loss, so nootropics that help with stress-management also help with memory.
Related: How to Memorize Material Faster
You might be surprised to learn that magnesium is good for memory. It is also essential to the health of every cell in your body. The average adult needs to take 300 - 350 mg of magnesium per day for brain health. Most people don’t get enough, and this causes depression, insomnia, and other issues.
The benefits of CBD are becoming widely known. It is extracted from the Cannabis sativa family (otherwise known as hemp). Now that it is finally legalized, there is a great deal of interest in its benefits. We think that it works by affecting communication between the nervous system and the brain. The result is improved sleep and mood, as well as reduced stress and pain.
Bacopa Monnieri, also called Waterhyssop, is a wetland herb widely used in Ayurvedic medicine. It can increase your learning, memory, and cognitive processing speed. A human study found that participants given 300 mg per day had significant improvements in cognitive function, including memory.
Bacopa Monnieri works by increasing certain neurotransmitters, and it may even protect your neurons against cognitive decline.
Creatine usually makes us think of protein shakes and muscle building, but this amino acid is potent in enhancing short-term memory. With only 5 mg per day, creatine works with your body’s phosphate and creates a quick-release of energy for your brain. It has been effective at improving short-term memory.
These are exciting times for the study and use of nootropics. We’re finding new and interesting ways to enhance cognition. Memory, learning, and recall are essentials today, so supplementing with nootropics that strengthen memory is an excellent strategy for greater productivity and better living. Do your research and find supplements that contain combinations of the above for best results.
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